San Francisco — Kleos Space, a Luxembourg-based satellite Earth observation startup, raised 6.96 million Euros ($8 million) from investors and began trading on the Australian Stock Exchange on Aug. 24 at 11 a.m. in Sydney, Aug. 23 9 p.m. Eastern time in the United States.
“The launch of a Luxembourg-based new space company on the Australian stock exchange underlines the international character of the Grand-Duchy’s dynamic business space sector,” Étienne Schneider, Luxembourg’s deputy prime minister and economy minister, said in a statement. “The capital raising of Kleos Space reflects the success of Luxembourg’s unique space strategy that is focused on creating a strong supportive ecosystem for space companies to grow and thrive.”
Kleos Space plans to launch its first satellite, built by Danish cubesat builder GomSpace, in mid-2019 to detect radio transmissions and pinpoint their origin and timing. Government agencies could use that information to enhance border and maritime security.
“When ships turn off their transponders at sea, our satellites can capture the other transmission activity from space,” Andy Bowyer, Kleos Space co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement. “This other data is critical for governments. It will give them the ability to track ships used by smugglers, terrorists, pirates, illegal fishermen and those in need of search and rescue.”
Kleos Space’s recent investment round was supported by institutional investment groups based in Australia, Bowyer said. “Our listing comes at a time when governments around the world are seeking new technology to protect their borders,” he added.
Kleos Space is entering the global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance business, claiming it has a “first mover advantage” to work with government and commercial customers outside the United States. “The company aims to scale its customer base into wider non-maritime and non-defense markets such as environmental protection, search and rescue services and insurance services,” according to the announcement.
Luxembourg is encouraging the growth of space industry startups in Europe with funding and legal reforms designed to support new business ventures.